Amazon happy to work with rivals, for customers’ sake
Seattle/San Francisco — Amazon.com is willing to team up with competitors Apple and Alphabet’s Google if it would help improve customers’ experience with its Alexa voice-activated virtual assistant, an executive working on the platform said.
The online retailer, which is already working with Microsoft on productivity features for Alexa such as calendar interactions, will put the user first in pursuit of any other partnerships, said Toni Reid, Amazon’s vice-president of Alexa and Echo devices, who has been on the team since 2014.
"We are super passionate about the customer approach," Reid said on Wednesday in a taped interview with Bloomberg TV’s Emily Chang.
The Seattle-based retailer has 5,000 people working on Echo home speakers and the Alexa platform that powers the devices, Reid said. Amazon sees uses for voice-activated devices in every room of the home, as well as in cars and hotels, she said.
Amazon’s rivals already have competing products: Apple is set to roll out its own HomePod smart speaker with Siri, its digital assistant, later this year, and Google’s range of Home devices come equipped with the internet giant’s virtual helper.